What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are living microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed in adequate amounts. They are commonly known as “good bacteria” and are found in certain foods and supplements. Probiotics support digestive health, maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, and boost the immune system.
The Benefits of Probiotic-rich Foods
If you’re not a fan of taking supplements, eating probiotic-rich foods is an easy way to get your daily dose. Here are some benefits that come with consuming probiotic-rich foods:
- Helps improve overall digestion and gut health
- Can boost the immune system
- May improve mental health
- Can improve heart health
Here are the top 5 probiotic-rich foods to add to your diet today:
Yogurt is one of the most popular probiotic-rich foods and for good reason. It’s easy to find, relatively affordable, and can be easily incorporated into your diet. Greek yogurt is a great choice as it contains higher amounts of protein than regular yogurt. Make sure to choose a plain variety as the flavored ones can be loaded with added sugars.
Kefir is a fermented dairy drink that is similar to yogurt. It’s made by adding kefir grains to milk, which are a combination of bacteria and yeast. Kefir contains a variety of probiotics and has been shown to improve digestion and boost the immune system. Kefir is also a good source of calcium and protein, making it an excellent choice for a post-workout drink or midday snack.
Kimchi is a Korean fermented side dish made from vegetables, such as cabbage and radishes. It’s seasoned with a variety of spices, which gives it a unique flavor. Kimchi contains a variety of probiotics and has been shown to improve gut health and boost the immune system. It’s also low in calories and high in fiber, making it a good choice for weight loss diets.
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that’s made from sweetened black or green tea. Similar to kefir, kombucha contains a variety of bacteria and yeast that provide probiotic benefits. Kombucha has been shown to improve digestion, boost the immune system, and reduce inflammation. You can easily find kombucha at most health food stores in a variety of flavors.
Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s commonly used in soups and sauces. It’s made by fermenting soybeans, rice, or barley with a type of fungus called koji. Miso contains probiotics and has been shown to improve gut health, boost the immune system, and reduce the risk of heart disease. You can find miso at most health food stores in a variety of colors and flavors.
Adding probiotic-rich foods to your diet can have a big impact on your health. They can improve your overall digestion and gut health, boost your immune system, and even improve your mental health. Try incorporating some of these probiotic-rich foods into your diet today and see how they make you feel!